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"the most famous English horror novel": Exceedingly rare first edition of Mary Shelley's masterpiece Frankenstein; one of only 500 copies printed
London: Printed for Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor & Jones, 1818.
First edition of Mary Shelley’s masterpiece and “the most famous English horror novel” (Clute and Nicholls); one of only 500 copies printed. Octavo, three volumes bound in full calf, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, marbled endpapers. In near fine condition. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An exceptional example of this exceedingly rare cornerstone of English literature, with only a handful appearing at auction.
Price: $750,000.00 Item Number: 128130
"To Dr Karl Popper a fellow struggler for freedom": Rare First English Edition of The Road To Serfdom; Inscribed by F.A. Hayek to Karl Popper
London: Routledge & Sons, 1944.
First edition of one of the most influential and popular expositions of classical liberalism ever published. Octavo, original black cloth. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “To Dr Karl Popper a fellow struggler for freedom with friendly greetings from F.H. Hayek.” Also included is a letter signed by Karl Popper to his assistant Melitta Mew, presenting her with this book as a birthday gift (“…It is the copy he sent me to New Zealand on publication of the book, with a beautiful dedication. And thank you for everything you are doing for my work (and me)… Karl”), on his stationery of 136 Welcomes Road, Kenley, Surrey, and dated 23 January 1994. While this book was very special to Popper, he had been diagnosed with cancer and passed away from complications in September. Ms. Mew helped to put together Popper’s lectures and essays in a book, which was published in 1996: “In search of a better world : lectures and essays from thirty years.”
Easily the best association copy in existence, as the lives of both of these great economists – Fredrich von Hayek (1899-1992) and Karl Popper (1902-1994) greatly impacted the other and their lives were intertwined. They both experienced the destruction of their Bourgeois Viennese families’ savings by hyperinflation due to the fragility of the liberal society. While both men studied at the University of Vienna, they first met in London in 1935. Hayek was at that time employed at the London School of Economics and Popper was in the city on a visiting lectureship. While Popper accepted a position in New Zealand, where he was to remain until after World War II, he would also later assume a chair at the LSE, due to Hayek’s influence there.
Near fine in a good dust jacket. The British edition (which this example is) was published in March of 1944, preceding its American counterpart, which was published later that same year in September. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.
Price: $400,000.00 Item Number: 123960
“Man selects only for his own good: Nature only for that of the being which she tends": First Edition of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species
On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.
London: John Murray, 1859.
First edition of “certainly the most important biological book ever written” (Freeman), one of 1250 copies. Octavo, bound in original cloth, half-title, one folding lithographed diagram, without advertisements. In fine condition with a touch of shelfwear. Housed in a custom clamshell box. An exceptional example of this landmark work, one of the nicest extant.
Price: $400,000.00 Item Number: 116380
"The greatest and finest atlas ever published": Willem and Joan Blaeu's magnificent Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, or, Le Theatre du Monde
Amsterdam: Chez Jean Blaeu/Apud Guiljelmum et Johannem Blaeu, 1643-1645.
One of the “greatest and finest atlas ever published” (Koeman). Folio, 4 volumes, original full vellum with gilt tooling to the spine in eight compartments within gilt bands, central gilt arabesques and fleuron corner pieces within double gilt ruling to the front and rear panels, all edges gilt. Gilt presentation inscription to the front panel of vol. I dated July 3, 1646 dedicating the set to Omer Talon, avocat-général to the French Parliament with the compliments of François du Monstier, rector of the University of Paris. Illustrated with 335 magnificent hand-colored engraved maps of the world and four continents including, in particular, sixty devoted to Great Britain (Volume IV), the map of the environs of Frankfurt (Volume I), a fine map of China and Japan (Volume III), and a series of thirteen maps of America (Volume III) that includes early and important maps of New England and the Chesapeake Bay. The set is comprised of: Volume I: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum Sive Atlas Novus; in Quo Tabulae et Descriptiones omnium Regionum, Editae a Guiljel: et Joanne Blaeu. [Amsterdami: Apud Guiljelmum et Johannem Blaeu, 1643]. Folio, 120 engraved maps in two parts. Part I: World map, plus 83 maps of Germany, Scandinavia, the Arctic and eastern Europe, several oversized and folding. Part II: 36 maps of the Lowlands. Volume II: Le Theatre Du Monde, ou Novvel Altas, Mis en lumiere par Guillaume & Jean Blaeu. Second Partie [A Amsterdam: Chez Jean Blaeu, 1643-1644]. Folio, contains 92 engraved maps in two parts (one folding): Part I: 48 maps of France; Part II: 14 maps of Spain and Portugal, 12 maps of Asia, 5 maps of Africa, 13 maps of America, including the appendix of the British Isles, map number 15 entitled “Le Duche de Mantove” on recto of leaf and “Mantua Ducatus” on map, without leaf 22 as listed in Van der Krogt. Volume III: Le Theatre Du Monde, ou Novvel Atlas, Mis en lumiere par Guillaume & Jean Blaeu. Troiseme Partie [A Amsterdam: Chez Jean Blaeu, 1643]. Folio, contains 66 engraved maps: 58 maps of Italy and 4 maps of Greece, with maps 2 and 3 supplied from another copy. Volume IV: Le Theatre Du Monde, ou Novvel Altas, Mis en lumiere par Guillaume & Jean Blaeu. Quatriesme Partie. [Amsterdami: Apud Johannem Blaeu, 1645]. Folio, contains 57 engraved maps detailing the British Isles with the maps “Britannia prout divisa” and “Anglia Regnum” supplied. Lacking the map of Wales. [Van der Krogt 2:212.1F, 2:212.2F, 2:212.3F, and 2:211.3C; Koeman BL 42A]. In near fine condition. Exceptionally clean internally with some maps numbered in a contemporary hand. Armorial bookplates. Exceptionally rare and desirable. Containing some of the most beautiful maps ever produced during the golden age of cartography.
Price: $350,000.00 Item Number: 126307
FIRST EDITION OF ANDREAS VESALIUS'S MAGNUM OPUS, THE MOST MONUMENTAL ACHIEVEMENT IN THE HISTORY OF MEDICAL EDUCATION AND "ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SCIENTIFIC BOOKS EVER PRINTED": DE HUMANI CORPORIS FABRICA LIBRI SEPTUM; ON THE FABRIC OF THE HUMAN BODY IN SEVEN BOOKS
Basel: Ex Officina Joannis Oporini, 1543.
First edition of the most important and influential book in the study of human anatomy and “one of the most beautiful scientific books ever printed”(Grolier). Folio, bound in full 18th century calf, woodcut title page with Vesalius performing a dissection, woodcut portrait of the author, over 200 woodcut anatomical illustrations, including 21 full page and 2 folding-sheet figural woodcuts of the skeletal, muscular, vascular and nervous systems. In very good condition with some light dampstaining to some page edges. Rare and desirable, especially in contemporary calf. A splendid example of Vesalius’ masterpiece, one of the most monumental achievements in the history of both medical education and printing.
Price: $300,000.00 Item Number: 30020
First Edition, First Printing of J.K. Rowling's Rare First Book Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
London: Bloomsbury, 1997.
First edition, first printing of the rarest book in the Harry Potter series, a cornerstone of young adult literature, and one of the best-selling books of all time. First printing with “First published in Great Britain in 1997”, the full number line “10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1”, “Joanne Rowling” for “J.K. Rowling”, and “Thomas Taylor1997” (lacking the space) on the copyright page and “1 wand” listed twice (as the first item and last item) on the “Other Equipment” list on page 53. Octavo, original illustrated boards, without a dust jacket as issued. In fine condition. Only 500 copies of the first printing were published, 300 of which were distributed directly to libraries. An exceptional example, easily one of the nicest examples extant.
Price: $225,000.00 Item Number: 124950
“The constancy of the laws of nature, or the certainty with which we may expect the same effects from the same causes, is the foundation of the faculty of reason”: Rare First Edition of Malthus' An Essay on the Principle of Population; With An autograph Note from Him
London: J. Johnson, 1798.
First edition of this cornerstone text of modern economics. Octavo, bound in three quarters calf. Laid in is a clipping from an original manuscript signed by Malthus and entirely in his hand which reads in part, “If at one time such a given product would make an effectual demand for certain commodities the conditions of the supply of which are supposed to remain the same, it would immediately cease to make such effectual.” Signed by Malthus in the lower right corner, “Malthus.” The verso features two further partial lines of text relating to supply and demand. In near fine condition. First editions of Malthus’ magnum opus are exceptionally scarce.
Price: $200,000.00 Item Number: 116955
"To Jack L. Warner - Thank you for your courage and for a magnificent picture - with my profound gratitude": First Edition of Ayn Rand's Magnum Opus The Fountainhead; Inscribed by Her to Jack Warner
Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1943.
First edition, first issue with first edition stated on the copyright page of the author’s first major novel, as well as her first best-seller. Octavo, original red cloth. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “To Jack L. Warner – Thank you for your courage and for a magnificent picture – with my profound gratitude – Ayn Rand. January 7, 1949.” The recipient, Jack Warner, was the co-founder, president, and driving force behind the Warner Bros. Studios. His career spanned some 45 years, its duration surpassing that of any other of the seminal Hollywood studio moguls. Rand sold the film rights to Warner several years earlier with the contractual proviso that she would provide the screenplay, which would be unalterable. In fact, the director wanted changes, but Warner supported the author and honored the contract. This book’s inscription, clearly referring to this, was presented about a half year prior to the film’s release. Of Rand’s fiction, The Fountainhead is generally conceded to be her most important and enduring work, a passionate portrait of uncompromising individualism. In the decades since its debut, the film has gained the critical acceptance, even the acclaim, that initially evaded it. Near fine in a near fine first-issue dust jacket with a touch of rubbing and no fading to the spine, which is endemic to this title. One of the finest association copies possible, linking the famed author with the legendary founder of Warner Brothers and producer of the iconic film.
Price: $200,000.00 Item Number: 125425
"Linking three leaders of the Enlightenment": Exceptionally rare Benjamin Franklin presentation copy of Halley's edition of Menelaus's Spherics; presented by him to famed Scottish Mathematician Robert Simson
Menelai Sphaericorum Libri III. Quos olim, collatis MSS. Hebraeis & Arabicis, Typis exprimendos curavit Vir Cl. Ed. Halleius L.L.D. R.S.S. & Geometriae Professor Savil. Oxoniensis. [Menelaus’ Spherics].
Oxonii [Oxford]: Sumptibus Academicis, 1758.
Exceptionally rare Benjamin Franklin presentation copy of Halley’s edition of Menelaus’s Spherics. Octavo, bound in full contemporary calf with gilt ruling to the spine in six compartments within raised gilt bands, red morocco spine label lettered in gilt. Presentation copy, presented by Benjamin Franklin to Scottish mathematician Robert Simson with Simson’s inscription to the second free endpaper noting that the book was presented to him by Franklin, “Ex dono viri praestantissimi et mihi amicissimi Benjamin Franklin 12mo Martii A.D. 1760, Robert Simson.” Franklin toured Scotland in 1759, the precise year that Halley’s Comet reappeared as predicted, leading French astronomer Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille to name it in his honor. While there, Franklin was granted a doctorate by the University of St. Andrews together with the freedom of the city of Edinburgh and met with the luminaries of the Scottish Enlightenment, including David Hume, Adam Smith, and Robert Simson. He later recalled the tour as ‘six weeks of the densest happiness I have known’ (Fay, Adam Smith and the Scotland of his Day, 1956, p. 124). Simson was a professor of mathematics at Glasgow, renowned for his works on ancient geometry. Adam Smith, who was his student while at university, revered Simson and deemed him one of “the two greatest mathematicians… that have lived in my time” (Theory of Moral Sentiments, 1790 ed, p 312). Upon his return to London in 1760, Franklin gifted Simson this copy of Menelaus’s Spherics, a work foundational to spherical geometry with early astronomical implications, such as determining the trajectory of planets. Importantly, as well, it was Halley himself who suggested to Simson that he specialize in restoring the ancient geometers when they had first met in 1711. As two men of science, Franklin and Simson almost certainly discussed the astronomical news of the day – the 1759 reappearance of Halley’s Comet and the upcoming 1761 transit of Venus; in fact, Simson wrote to another colleague in July 1761 inquiring after details of the astronomical observations that “Dr Bradley, Dr Bevis, Mr short or other good observers have made of the transit of Venus”. With extensive annotations in Simson’s hand including an erratum to title-page verso, marginalia to pages vii, viii, 6, 17 and 18, and four full pages of annotations to rear blank, free endpaper and pastedown. In very good condition. Rebacked. Housed in a custom clamshell box. An exceptionally rare edition of this important work linking three leaders of the Enlightenment and reflecting the collaborative scientific spirit that enabled 18th-century scientists to determine the astronomical unit and take the true measure of the universe.
Price: $175,000.00 Item Number: 130904
Exceptionally rare autograph letter signed by George Washington to revolutionary war ally Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau
April 10, 1781.
Exceptionally rare autograph letter signed by George Washington as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army to French ally Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau, whose military assistance in the Siege of Yorktown essentially ended the Revolutionary War. The body of the letter is entirely in the hand of Alexander Hamilton and dated 10 April 1781. In the spring of 1781, officials from Massachusetts approached Rochambeau with a proposal to attack the British post at the mouth of the Penobscot river which had been established in June 1779 to secure timber for shipyards in Halifax and to protect Nova Scotia from any American advance. On April 6, Rochambeau informed Washington that he was willing to send a detachment of troops and that Admiral Destouches would offer naval assistance, but observing that he was under Washington’s command, he would await his approval before approving the action (Rochambeau to Washington, 6 April 1781, Papers of George Washington, Library of Congress). Washington here responds offering his gratitude that Destouches, who had only recently lost a naval engagement with the British in an unsuccessful attempt to relieve Lafayette in Virginia, would be willing “to undertake the expedition to Penobscot and to you for your readiness to furnish a detachment of troops for the same purpose. The object is certainly worth attention and if it can be effected will be very agreeable to the States, particularly to those of the East.” He trusts that Destouches “can best judge from the situation of the enemy’s fleet how far it may be attempted with prudence, and Your Excellency from the information you have recently received what number of troops will be sufficient for the enterprise—I am persuaded it will be calculated how far it is probable the enemy may follow with a part of their fleet—whether the post can be carried by a coup de main, or may require so much time as to make it likely the operation will be interrupted before its conclusion—in case of a superior squadron being sent by the enemy what possibility there is of protection or a safe retreat for the ships and even for the land force (through an unsettled country in which numbers perished for want of provision in a former attempt)—All these are points too important not to have been well weighed, and your conversations with the Massachusetts deputies will have been able to enlighten you upon them.” Here, he is referencing the unsuccessful attempt by Massachusetts in 1779 to destroy the post, abandoned when British ships with reinforcements forced an arduous overland retreat by the Americans. Despite his assurances that Rochambeau and Destouches had matters well in hand, Washington took the “liberty to remark [on] two things—one that it appears to me frigates without any ships of the line will answer the purpose as well as with them and less will be risked than by dividing the body of the fleet. Frigates (especially the forty fours) will afford a safe escort to the troops against any thing now in those Seas, and with respect to a detachment from the enemy’s fleet, it would be always proportioned to the force we should send and if we have two sixty fours, they would even be an object for their whole fleet. The other observation I would make is, that dispatch being essential to success, it will in my opinion be adviseable not to depend on any cooperation of the Militia, but to send at once such a force from your army as you deem completely adequate to a speedy reduction of the post. The country in the neighbourhood of Penobscot is too thinly inhabited to afford any resource of Militia there, and to assemble and convey them from remote places would announce your design—retard your operations, and give leisure to the enemy to counteract you. Indeed I would recommend for the sake of secrecy to conceal your determination from the State itself.” On 15 April Rochambeau replied to Washington observing that while he had sufficient troops to spare, “your Excellency’s observations upon the Separation of our fleet, and upon the danger to be interrupted by superior forces, during the course of the Expedition, which Mr Destouches does not Look on as possible to be undertaken with his frigates only, are the motives which cause this project to be Laid aside for the present moment.” (Rochambeau to Washington, 15 April 1781, Papers of George Washington, Library of Congress). Soon Washington and Rochambeau‘s attention returned again to Virginia, and within months their combined forces would be closing in on Yorktown. In near fine condition. Exceptionally rare and desirable, being the only communication between the storied commanders of the Yorktown campaign to appear at auction in more than a century.
Price: $175,000.00 Item Number: 125872
"the first novel in the English language": Exceedingly rare complete first edition set of all three books in Defoe's classic Robinson Crusoe series
The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe; The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe; Serious Reflections During the Life And Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
London: Printed for W. Taylor at the Ship in Pater-Noster-Row, 1719-1720.
Exceedingly rare complete first edition set of all three books in Defoe’s classic Robinson Crusoe series, including the scarce first and only printing of the third book in the series. Octavo, three volumes bound in full crushed red morocco by Francis Bedford with gilt titles and tooling to the spine in six compartments within raised gilt bands, triple gilt ruling to the front and rear panels, gilt turn-ins and inner dentelles, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. The set consists of: Vol. I. The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner: Who lived Eight and Twenty Years, all alone in an un-inhabited Island on the Coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, where-in all the Men perished by himself. With An Account how he was at last as strangely deliver’d by Pyrates. Written by Himself. First edition, mixed state with the famed engraved frontispiece portrait of Robinson Crusoe by Clark and Pine, the title in second state with semi-colon after London, third state of the preface with the catchword “apply” correctly spelled, and first state of Z4r with “Pilot” misspelled “Pilate” and “Portugnese” for “Portuguese”, four pages of advertisements at rear. Bibliographic note tipped in. Vol. II. ; Being the Second and Last Part of His Life, And the Strange Surprizing Accounts of his Travels Round three Parts of the Globe. Written By Himself. First edition, second issue with the publisher’s notice to the verso of the last leaf of the Preface and page 295 corectly numbered, folding map of the world and 11 pages of advertisements at rear. Volume III. : With His Vision of the Angelick World. Written By Himself. First edition, first issue with the catchword “The” on page 270, folding engraved plan of Crusoe’s island by Clark and Pine, 2 pages of advertisements at rear. [Grolier English 41; Hutchins 52-71, 97-112, 122-8; Moore 412 & 417; PMM 180; Rothschild 775]. In fine condition. An exceedingly rare and handsomely bound complete set of this cornerstone in English literature.
Price: $175,000.00 Item Number: 129597
Rare Isaac Newton Manuscript highlighting his controversial theological views, which were kept hidden for hundreds of years
Rare full page folio autograph manuscript entirely in the hand of Isaac Newton, father of physics and modern science and author of important texts such as the Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, Opticks, and many more. One folio page with Newton’s handwriting and emendations on both the recto and verso. While Newton is mostly known for his scientific and mathematical pursuits and is considered to be one of the most influential scientists of all time, his controversial theological views, which were kept hidden for centuries, were as brilliant as his science and an extension of his search for truth. Many believe theology was actually his first love, as he wrote more about religion than he did about science. Of Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, he stated, “When I wrote my treatise about our Systeme I had an eye upon such Principles as might work with considering men for the beliefe of a Deity and nothing can rejoyce me more than to find it useful for that purpose.” He wrote in the Principa, “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent Being. . . . This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all. . . . The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect.” While he believed in a supreme God, early in his career at Trinity College, his theological research of original texts led him to believe that authentic Christianity had been corrupted by the early church fathers and that the brand of religion that was now accepted as orthodox by the Roman Catholic Church, and to some extent by the Church of England, was not completely true. He discovered that the final phrases of 1 John 5:7 ‘and these three are one’ was not present in any Greek version that he studied and came to the conclusion that it was a deliberate addition to the text to provide justification for the doctrine of the Trinity. He concluded that the orthodox notion of the Trinity was a fictional story that was invented in the early fourth century. This document is very important, as its contents deal with these controversial issues. Written in English and some Latin, he writes concerning an Epistle of Emperor Constantine regarding the Arian debate and the Council of Nicea, which laid out the famous doctrinal statement, the Nicene Creed. The Nicene Creed was adopted to resolve the Arian controversy. The Arian leader, Arius, a clergyman of Alexandria, “objected to Alexander’s (the bishop of the time) apparent carelessness in blurring the distinction of nature between the Father and the Son by his emphasis on eternal generation.” In reply, Alexander accused Arius of denying the divinity of the Son and also of being too “Jewish” and “Greek” in his thought. Alexander and his supporters created the Nicene Creed to clarify the key tenets of the Christian faith in response to the widespread adoption of Arius’ doctrine, which was henceforth marked as heresy. Because of these views, Newton’s theological writings, were marked “Not fit to be printed.” They were placed in storage and were not made available to the public until the economist John Maynard Keynes and Jewish scholar and businessman, Abraham Yahuda, acquired many of them in 1936. There are very few of these original writings left in private hands, as the majority of the manuscripts are in the permanent collections of the Cambridge University Library, Kings College Library (a gift of John Maynard Keynes), Jewish National and University Library (now National Library of Israel), the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, the Foundation Martin Bodmer in Geneva, and the Grace K. Babson collection now housed in the Huntington Library in California. Matted and framed with both the recto and verso visible. The manuscript measures 11.75 inches by 7.5 inches. The entire piece measures 23.5 inches by 19.5 inches. A scarce piece of history; essential to the collector interested in both Newton’s scientific and theological endeavors.
Price: $150,000.00 Item Number: 119750
“When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical is madness. To surrender dreams — this may be madness": Rare first complete English edition of Cervantes' masterpiece Don Quixote
The History of Don-Quixote. The First Parte. The Second Part of the History of the Valorous and Witty Knight-Errant, Don Quixote of the Mancha. Written in Spanish by Michael Cervantes: and now translated into English.
London: Edward Blount, 1620.
Exceedingly rare first complete edition in English of Cervantes’ masterpiece comprising the second edition of the first part and the first edition of the second part. Octavo, 2 volumes bound in full 19th century calf, engraved title in each volume. Translated from the original Spanish by Thomas Shelton, his first English translation published in 1612 was the first translation in any language, and took him only forty days to complete. The true first edition of Don Quixote was published in Madrid by Francisco de Robles in two parts in 1605 and 1614. The first part of Shelton’s first English version was published in 1612 with the second part added in 1620, both published in quarto. The present edition is the first complete edition published in the English language with both the first and second parts published and sold simultaneously. Volume one is a second edition with the text block trimmed as usual, in very good condition. Volume two is a first edition, lacking the engraved title as with many copies, and believed to be indicative of an earlier state. “Duff suggested that the reason this plate is lacking in so many copies of the second part is because it was not prepared until after a good many copies had been sold without it” (Pforzheimer 140; Grolier Langland to Wither 213). In near fine condition.
Price: $150,000.00 Item Number: 130505
Basel: Eusebius Episcopius , 1572.
First edition of Alhazen’s fundamental work on optics and vision, which influenced Galileo and Kepler and paved the way for the modern science of physical optics. Folio, bound in full contemporary Basel vellum with central arabesques blind-stamped to the front and rear panels, titles stamped in black and five raised bands to the spine, woodcut printer’s device to the title page, woodcut initials, diagrams and full page illustration to the verso of the title page. Translated from Arabic into Latin by Gerard of Cremona. In very good condition. From the library of American physician Chester Tilton Stone with his bookplate to the pastedown. A superior example of this significant work, rare and desirable in contemporary vellum.
Price: $142,000.00 Item Number: 90395